Kai Linka works at the hydrogenation plant in Krefeld-Uerdingen, where LANXESS synthetically manufactures products such as Adipol, menthol and thymol. In his free time, this master technician likes to go diving – to explore the underwater world.
Linka glides weightlessly through the waters of the quarry pond. Not a sound is to be heard. Nothing but the sound of his own, slow breaths as the 37-year old draws in air from the oxygen tank through the regulator and exhales it in the form of bubbles. Instead, there is all the more to see here, some metres below the surface: gnarled roots, undulating underwater plant life, and iridescent fish. “This is my idea of pure relaxation,” says the master technician, who up to two years ago was working as a plant operator at the hydrogenation plant forming part of the Advanced Industrial Intermediates BU.
“The most lovely time is between the algal blooms in spring and the dying out of the plant life in the autumn – when the water is as clear as glass.” He is protected from the cold by a drysuit, presumably even made out of a LANXESS product, as diving suits are manufactured using chloroprene rubbers such as Baypren®.
In the winter, Linka wears thermal underwear under his suit, in order to ensure he is able to dive all year round – and right on his own doorstep, seeing as there are countless quarry ponds in the Lower Rhine region.
Kai Linka spends his holidays in picturesque diving locations with coral reefs which attract large numbers of colourful fish. Things took a more adventurous turn three years ago, when the Rhinelander started going on diving expeditions to explore the wrecks of sunken warships off the Scottish Orkney Islands. His uncle, a keen diver, had piqued his interest in the sport 20 years ago, and he completed his first diving certificate immediately upon leaving school and in tandem with his training at Bayer. Today, he holds a silver German Diving Association badge – and is training for gold: “That is my goal for 2015.